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Sale 1200 — The William H. Gross Collection: U.S. Stamp Multiples

Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 8-9 May, 2019

Category — 1¢-90¢ 1857-60 Issue (Scott 18-39)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
50°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 50, 1¢-90¢ 1857-60 Issue (Scott 18-39), This magnificent original-gum block of 21 is the largest recorded unused multiple of the 30¢ 1860 Issue

DESCRIPTION

30¢ Orange (38), block of 21 (7 by 3), original gum, bright color and exceptionally fresh

PROVENANCE

This block and large block of 90¢ 1860, along with other lower denomination blocks, sold to Caspary privately (Ashbrook index card note)

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 1/16-18/1956, lot 809, to Weill

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 18, to Weill (for Bechtel)

Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr. (collection sold privately in 1993; block sold privately to Zoellner)

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 148, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine overall; some minor reinforcements, small tears in a few bottom-row stamps and fourth stamp at top nicked from separation

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$60,900.00 as three blocks, four pairs and single

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Switch from Black to Orange

Official correspondence between the Post Office and Toppan Carpenter reveals that the decision to print 30¢ stamps in orange followed a printing in black on stamp paper. The existence of imperforate 30¢ Black stamps created controversy years ago, when some philatelists argued that the black stamps were a legitimate issue. A brief history of the early approval and production process is worth telling.

Toppan Carpenter submitted proofs of the 30¢ stamp to Third Assistant Postmaster Zevely in June 1860, suggesting printing the stamps in black to highlight the engraving. The design was approved on June 27, 1860. On July 2 Toppan Carpenter sent Zevely plate proof sheets of the 12¢ and 30¢ in black to show that the design differences were sufficient to tell the stamps apart, even if both were black, and Zevely replied with approval for the 30¢ to be printed in black. On July 11 Toppan Carpenter wrote again to Zevely, giving their opinion that it would be difficult to adequately cancel the 30¢ stamps if they were black, and suggesting that the color should be switched to "buff." Zevely approved "orange buff" color, and Toppan Carpenter promised to deliver 280,000 stamps by July 31. As with all of the stamps in circulation when the Civil War broke out, the 30¢ was demonetized in the fall of 1861.

E. 20,000-30,000
27,000
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